1. Opening choir about the futility of a moment in eternity and also about how rules, including the one which forbids the entry of women to the Haapsalu Episcopal Castle, can’t suppress/restrain love.
2. The canons play a game of dice, which of course is forbidden in the castle. They are accompanied by monk Gregorius and his undying love for wine. The young canon Olaf is made fun of – unlucky at cards, lucky in love, they say; even though marriage is forbidden for all in the castle. The men are caught by the Prior, who threatens to immure the gamblers into the walls of the castle.
3. The young maidens of Ridala village prepare to go to the city market and complain about the lack of good suitors in the area.
4. A runo-song accompanies the trip to the market, with the Ridala elder Manivald as the chanter. 5. People of all ages, genders and various social standings can be found at the market altogether.
6. Maila drops a basket of apples and whilst picking them up, she and her sister have a chance encounter with the canons Jonathan and Olaf. The apple – the forbidden fruit – is a sign of things to come. The older sister Maret flirts boldly, whilst Maila remains more modest. Jonathan holds the initiative from the canons’ side. In the end, all four hope to meet again.
7. On the way home Maret tells Maila that it would be much nicer to marry someone in the city rather than a peasant. Since she’s trying to .. Jonathan to her sister, it becomes clear that Maret herself is after Olaf. Maila calms her down and suggests that the men were probably just looking for some fun and nothing serious will come of it.
8. Olaf confesses that he went to the market and met a wonderful maiden there. Wisely enough, he fails to mention that the maiden was a peasant. 9. Viidik and Vilivald arrive in Ridala – the girls’ point concerning the lack of decent suitors in the area is proven. Maret tries to solve the situation diplomatically, whilst Maila bursts out that she’d rather drown herself in a lake than marry such buffoons.
10. Monk Gregorius, who leads an overly enjoyable life, thanks Olaf for protecting him from the resentment of the Prior. Olaf confides in his friend that he is in love. Gregorius encourages Olaf to go look for Maila.
11. The choir sings about how it only takes a blink of an eye for one’s entire life to take course.
12. Maila and Olaf meet at the Ridala sanctuary.
13. Mother Helemeel asks Maila as to why she always seems to be leaving home lately. Maila tries to keep her secret, but her mother gets her to speak. Upon hearing that her daughter is in love with a canon, the mother is shocked and tries to convince her into believing that the right man in her father’s opinion would be an Estonian man. Maila does not want to hear any of it.
14. Preparations for some more gambling at the castle. Jonathan asks about Olaf’s whereabouts and the men joke that if Olaf isn’t there, then there’s noone losing. One of the canons mentions that Olaf goes to confess strangely often, another says that he’s been seen riding towards Ridala. The Prior catches them once more.
15. Olaf and Maila meet in the grove. Maret has sneaked up on them and the couple gets caught. Maila pleads for her sister to not say anything. Maret affirms that she is not one to lie. Maila realises that Maret is jealous. Olaf comes up with the idea of disguising Maila as a stable groom named Lars. 16. Koor laulab, et värvukesi ei osata lõvikoopast otsida. Lars on tallipoiss ja kohtub iga päev Olafiga.
16. The choir sings about how some things are hidden in plain sight. Lars is a stable groom and meets up with Olaf every day.
17. Helemeel discovers that Maila has not been sleeping at home. Maret tells the parents that her sister fell to the seduction of a man in the city and ran away with him. At the worst possible time, the weird suitors arrive once more, only to be kicked out by Manivald. 18. Maila, as Lars, and Olaf are in the stables. Jonathan begins to suspect that Lars is not a boy after all.
19. Jonathan bribes Maret into telling him that Maila might be at the castle. Viidik and Vilivald, disappointed about how they’ve been treated and seeing themselves as “respectable suitors”, want the money for themselves.
20. Jonathan goes to the stables and offers Maila his love. Maila refuses.
21. Gregorius tells Olaf about why he became a monk in the first place – he’d had a love affair with a maiden, a bride-to-be of a respected merchant. Upon discovery that the girl was no maiden, the merchant had her executed. Gregorius has been seeking for solace in prayer and wine ever since. Olaf sees the story as a mirror of his own and realises that Maila is in serious danger.
22. Olaf does not get the chance to take action – Jonathan reveals Maila’s secret. The Prior holds a furious speech, for such a thought – of bringing a peasant woman to the castle – would not even occur in the worst nightmares of the best prophets. He debates whether Olaf should be torn into pieces or starved to death. Gregorius claims he provoked Olaf and is willing to be the culprit. The Prior orders the canons to keep quiet – the Riga bishop shall not know about this. A canon’s question as to how one should keep quiet about the presence of a woman on this side of the castle walls give the Prior the idea that the improper woman should be immured. As for Olaf, he changes his mind – instead of a death sentence, he will be exiled to always carry his guilt with him.
23. Maret and Jonathan regret telling on Maila, but there’s nothing to be done.
24. Maila admits in her song that even though coming to the castle was a thoughtless act, then even unwiser are those, who have come up with unreasonable rules. In her song she adresses her close ones. Even though she has been sentenced to death, she feels that love will never die and that she shall return.
25. In-between the final choir Olaf speaks of his dreams of a white shadow belonging to his loved one. The maiden was soon to be seen by all those in Haapsalu on full moon nights, which is how the legend was born.